The Messenger January 2015
Epiphany: e.piph.a.ny: a fun word to say and an awesome season of the liturgical church year because it is a time set aside for us to remember the ways that God has been made manifest in the past in order to turn and look for the different ways that God is made manifest in our lives and in our world today. The name Epiphany comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means “to show, make known, make manifest, or reveal.” The season begins on January 6th, the feast day of Epiphany, when we recognize the arrival of the three Magi at the manger. Their arrival confirms that God has “been made manifest” in the birth of the baby Jesus. They were considered the first to reveal Jesus to a wider world as the incarnate Christ, recognizing that Jesus came for all people, all nations, all races. This liturgical season continues until Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
As a church community, let’s take this season to look for the ways that God is made manifest in our lives and share those stories with one another. Each week during our Sunday services there will be a specific time for sharing our Epiphany stories so that we can remind ourselves of the different ways that God is showing up in our lives today. Let me know if you have a story that you’d like to share.
In addition, Epiphany is traditionally a time when people have blessed their homes by marking the lintels of their doorway with the year and the initials of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The initials also represent the Latin phrase, Chrisus mansionem benedicat or “May God bless this house.” For example if you were to do it this Epiphany you would take a piece of chalk and write 20+C+M+B+15. The crosses represent Christ. Marking the lintels of doorways is an old European practice that represents a traditional Epiphany prayer and blessing: asking God to be present and made manifest to all who live in the home or apartment and to all who enter.
As we begin the season of Epiphany, keep your eyes and ears open for the ways that God is made manifest to you in words, experiences and images and send me your stories or pictures so we can share them with our faith community.
Epiphany blessings to you and yours! Christy
Emmanuel’s First Movie Matinee and Reflection Features “Young at Heart”
January 17th, 2:00 PM in the Undercroft
Join Christy in the undercroft on Saturday, January 17th to enjoy popcorn, fellowship, a great movie documentary and time for reflection following the movie. Not sure exactly how long it will last since it’s the first time that we’ve done it, but join us and bring a friend! Young at Heart is a documentary about a senior citizen’s chorus in western Massachusetts whose mission is to present a unique and positive image of aging through the creation of originally staged musical and theater performances that incorporate songs not commonly sung by older Americans. Check out their New Year’s Greeting below or their website at www.youngatheartchorus.com. Questions, talk to Christy. There will be a sign-up in the back of the church so we know how much popcorn to have!
Many hands make light work and there were many, many individuals involved in making Emmanuel’s Advent and Christmas season so blessed! Sometimes words don’t begin to convey the gratitude in our hearts, but here is an attempt to say thank you to all involved!
- To the altar guild for the endless hours decorating the church and preparing and cleaning up for all of the different services.
- A special thank you to the team that was on the week of Christmas as preparing for four services on Christmas Eve Day and one on Christmas Day in addition to our regular Sunday schedule is a lot!
- To the lay readers, lectors and ushers who served during the services.
- To the children, adults and their families who helped the Christmas pageant to come together so we could tell the Christmas story so beautifully at the 4:00 Christmas Eve service.
- To Julianna for all the extra work on bulletins and inserts while managing the office in such a friendly and welcoming manner.
- To Doug Laird and his helpers for managing our grounds so they look so nice and inviting and especially for the wonderful and festive lights on the church and Shepherd’s House. A true joy, not only for us but for all who pass by!
- To John Knutson for the beautifully lit Christmas tree in the courtyard providing Christmas cheer to all who see it.
- For all of those who hosted our coffee hours and receptions during the holiday season.
- For Susan Foreman’s leadership and the Women of Emmanuel for the Christmas baskets and for all who
donated to that effort and helped to fill them, wrap the gifts and deliver them.
- To Eric for keeping our buildings clean and ready for all of the extra services and gatherings.
- To the choir and contemporary music group for their extra time practicing in order to provide us with lively, spirit filled music for all of our services. To Tom and Dan for their leadership and musical gifts, and to
- Wilbur Jenson for his willingness to play at the late Christmas Eve service. No one even thought about leaving during the postlude which was a truly magical moment! All of the musical offerings during December were a true gift to those present!
I’m sure there are some details that are omitted here, but know that this Advent and Christmas season has been a wonderful example of mutual ministry, all of us offering our best and trusting that God will transform our offerings into something much grander than any of us could do on our own. Emmanuel, God with us. Thank you to all of you!
Lay Reader, Eucharistic Visitor and Lector Training
Saturday, January 24th
Interested in serving at the altar, reading the lessons on Sunday morning or in taking communion to our home bound members? Then this training is for you. The full day will last from 9:00-4:00 but the plan is to divide it into segments so you only need to come for the training that you are seeking. Everyone will need to be present for the morning session from 9-12:00. Then after a lunch break we will continue from 12:30-2:30 for those who want to serve at the altar, and concluding with some additional training for those taking communion into people’s homes following our services on Sundays. Even if you aren’t sure if these ministries are for you, it’s a great way to find out more about them, try them on and see if it’s a fit. Email or talk to Christy with questions or to sign-up, email@example.com
￼What’s Up With That??? Notes from Your Vestry
Your vestry continues to work long and hard at its monthly meetings. For the December meeting, we gathered at Shepherd House for fellowship, followed by a wonderful dinner prepared by Pastor Christy. We gave thanks for the 6 vestry members whose terms are up (Patty Hanlin, Angie Gibson, Dave Kronsteiner, Jeff McKeown, Marcia Mann and Susan Foreman) by putting our thoughts into words and stories of their brave and valiant efforts in the service of Christ at Emmanuel.
Items of Interest:
Diocesan Disaster Program—this is a new focus in the Diocese to develop local plans in case of disasters or emergencies. Sheryl Gerety, a new member of Emmanuel with experience in the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, is our Diocesan liaison. She’ll attend a national training conference in February and you can expect to hear more about plans for Emmanuel.
Doug Laird is awesome! He has agreed to be Emmanuel’s official grounds leader, work that he has been doing for several years. There is opportunity for many hands to keep our buildings and grounds looking welcoming to all who pass.
Are you interested in attending Core Congregational Development Training? This two-day training in Ashland in February is an opportunity to meet with 8 trainers and 60 or so other people to talk about congregational development. Volunteers are needed! See Christy if you want to know more.
The Mutual Ministry Agreement, developed at the vestry retreat in September and further developed after the Town Hall meetings after both services in October is a done deal. The vestry moved to accept it as our plan in the months from now until October, when we evaluate the year, and begin again. It’s a two-part agreement, and good news! Part I is done! Part II begins after the annual meeting in January when the 6 newly elected vestry members join Joe McKeown, Fran Whitaker, John Whitty, Sally Jaeggli, Troy Cribbins and Virginia Roush in taking the steps that work toward the goals of relationship, inclusiveness, and hospitality.
As of 12/7/2014, Treasurer Bob Huggins reports there was $156,670 pledged for the support of Emmanuel’s 2014-15 budget. That’s about $10,000 higher than last year. The vestry approved the budget as presented.
Junior Warden Susan Foreman has been very busy the last two months scheduling necessary repairs to the buildings and grounds. These include scheduling the replacement of uneven and broken sidewalk and related tree removal, permits and pest control and repair of damages to doors and other building components caused by the pests.
The vestry approved new members to the Columbarium Committee. Diana Wall will be the new chair in 2015 and 2016. Many thanks to Liz Cowden for her long and faithful service. Other members of the committee are Floyd Goldbloom, Jeff McKeown, Jackie Crowder, Karen Pruhsmeier and Fran Whitaker.
Save the Date:
Annual Meeting of the Congregation
Sunday, February 8th – More details to follow…
New Musical Group Forming
On Sunday, January 11th, following the 10:00 AM service, there will be a meeting during coffee hour to discuss the possibility of organizing a group to play recorders. Recorders are part of the flute family, originating in Europe almost a thousand years ago. Made of wood or plastic, they can be played as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. Many types of music can be played on recorders, making them a fun and versatile instrument. Ranges include soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
Anyone interested is welcome to join us at coffee hour.
Youth Group News and Updates:
Christmas Cookies, Caroling and Fellowship
Emmanuel’s Youth Group worked hard in December making four different kinds of Christmas cookies and peppermint bark to package up with cards for our home bound members. Then on Sunday Dec. 21st they joined with other members of the congregation to deliver them to four different homes along with a bit of caroling. It was a great way to share the joy of Christmas and our Emmanuel community to some of our members who aren’t able to get to our church much anymore. Thanks go to our youth who made the cookies and cards, to their families for transportation and caroling support and to Sue Wall for lunch after church and before caroling. As with most activities like this, those involved received much more than the recipients. Gratitude for all of the help and support that made this possible!
Youth Group Activities 1st and 3rd Wednesdays in January,
6:00-8:00 PM, beginning with dinner at 6:00.
***January 7th: Epiphany blessings-how is God showing up in our lives? ***January 21st: Confirmation-what is it, what’s involved and why I might be interested ***Winter and spring planning…bring your ideas of what you want to do.
Friends always welcome. If possible, please phone, email or text to Christy the day before as it helps in planning the food and activities.
Women of Emmanuel Meeting
From Women of Emmanuel’s Treasurer~
Contribution statements for cash gifts designated for Outreach, turkeys for the Bazaar and other similar items during the year will be available from Sally Jaeggli beginning January 11. If you have receipts for items you purchased and donated, and would like a receipt from WOE, please let her know.
At our November meeting, WOE board members discussed turning our bank account over to Emmanuel. This would allow cash gifts referred to in the previous paragraph to be tracked on your giving statement through the Church’s bookkeeping. Women of Emmanuel would have a “fund” set up so that our income and expenses are recorded separately, similar to other “designated” funds that track income and expenses. These would not be merged with the general fund and would not be used for general purposes, and would not be subject to our Diocesan assessment. The bookkeeper can provide us with a statement that shows our income and expenses, the same accountability that we have had in the past, with statements provided by the WOE treasurer. Merging our funds with Emmanuel will also provide additional controls over check-writing and deposits.
2014 was little different for WOE. As our membership dwindled, we did not approve a normal budget at the beginning of the year. Instead, we agreed we would continue to prepare Christmas Baskets, buy kitchen supplies, pay for child care for the nursery, and give money to the Food Cupboard. Two major fund raisers were conducted: we agreed to hold a spring rummage sale, and with the vestry’s urging that we not let it drop, Terrye Laird headed up the annual Bazaar in November. These fundraisers were both successful, with net income from the rummage sale $1,139 and the bazaar $3,592. Coffee hour donations and offerings for receptions totaled $1,125. On the expense side, to 12/28, we contributed $250 for nursery care, $1,000 to Coos Food Cupboard, spent $3,502 for Christmas outreach baskets, gave Christmas gifts to church staff of $275, and spent $444 for kitchen expenses. The Church’s annual report will contain a copy of the WOE financial information.
The beginning of the year is a perfect time to continue our discussion of what WOE will be next. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please feel free to talk with Pastor Christy, Sally or other members of WOE.
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT By Kerry Oxford, Parish Nurse
Attitude of Gratitude
“A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have.”
If you do anything that will improve your health and well-being this next year, it is adopting an attitude of gratitude. Positivity can bring about huge benefits for our physical, emotional mental, and spiritual health. Each day concentrate and focus on what is good in your life. There are many, many good things. You may not have thought about them for a while but they are there.
I am thankful for……
The partner who hogs the covers every night, because he/she is not out with someone else.
The teenager who is not doing dishes but is watching TV, because that means he/she is home and not on the streets.
For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.
￼￼￼￼For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.
For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am in the sunshine.
For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.
For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.
For the lady behind me in church that sings off-key, because it means that I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means that I have clothes to wear.
For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.
Three Things Which….
Never come back — Time, Words and Opportunity
One needs — Hope, Peace and Honesty
Are valuable — Love, Friends and Self Confidence
Are never certain — Success, Dreams and Fortune
Make a good person — Sincerity, Hard Work and Compassion Can destroy a person — Pride, Greed and Anger
Can save a person — God, Faith and Hope
As you start a new year, put Your Health First! Make time for physical activity, healthy eating, relaxation, and sleep! A healthier Emmanuel Parish starts with each one of us.
Kerry Oxford, RN Parish Nurse
More from Kerry and Christy….
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
It is cold and flu season again. Today, we are finding that virus germs are tending to be stronger and cold symptoms are lasting longer. We have members of our congregation who have chronic health or respiratory conditions, decreased immune systems, and debility. What may be a “simple cold” to a healthy individual can easily turn into a life-threatening pneumonia for these folks. Complications from pneumonia include increased respiratory compromise, profound weakness, sepsis, and even death.
Please, please, think about loving and protecting our fellow parishioners and others in our community. If you are sick, please think about staying home from work, church, school, etc. If you must go out, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze our cough and use careful and frequent hand-washing, or use an antimicrobial hand gel. Hand-washing is still the single best way to prevent the spread of cold germs.
Thank you my friends! Be well!
Kerry Oxford RN Parish Nurse
Germ Control at Church: Amen and Achoo!
Every year during flu season the question of germ control and Holy Communion seems to come up as we all want to protect ourselves in the best way that we can. It might surprise you to know that research has been done on both the risk of getting sick from using the “common cup” during communion and on the most germ free way of receiving Holy Communion. “People who sip from the Communion cup don’t get sick more often than anyone else,” said Anne LaGrange Loving, a New Jersey microbiologist who has conducted a study on the subject. She concludes, “It isn’t any riskier than standing in line at the movies.”
Contrary to popular belief, results have shown that there are less germs passed by receiving communion from the common cup than from intinction (dipping the bread into the wine.) Chalice bearers are taught not only to wipe the chalice with the purificator after each use, but to also turn the cup before the next person receives. Both steps help to protect against spreading germs. In addition, if you do choose to receive by intinction, the most germ free way of doing that is to hold the wafer in the palm of your hand and let the chalice bearer, dip it for you and place it on your tongue. Our hands typically carry many germs, and in that way, only the chalice bearer’s hands are near the chalice. I know that most folks at Emmanuel who receive by intinction dip the wafer themselves. If that’s the case please be very careful to not let your fingers touch the wine as you dip the wafer. Most important is to use common sense…like Kerry, our Parish Nurse said in her companion article, if you are sick, stay home. If you are feeling good enough to come to church but are still recovering, consider passing the peace with an “elbow bump” rather than handshake or hug and only receive the bread at communion until you are feeling better. At the altar, rather than the traditional “symbolic” washing of the hands, the Eucharistic ministers and I will be using hand sanitizer prior to the beginning of the Great Thanksgiving to ensure that we are as germ free as possible. If you have questions or concerns, talk to me or Kerry.
Blessings of health and well-being for us all!
FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY
FROM THE DESK OF ANNE ABDY January 2015 Newsletter
Nothing much to report other than the campus is very, very quiet as the College and Seminary closed for the Christmas break. I will be playing Santa and monitoring The Cage where presents are brought by UPS in the few days left before the big day. I also have a number of four-legged charges (mostly cats this time) so I will be tootling around Sewanee. Christmas Eve services will be spent at my field placement so I can meet the parishioners before coming on board officially in January. It should be an interesting placement. St. Luke’s is about the same size as Emmanuel although quite rural. The town is known for the location where “missing bags go” when the bags are not claimed by airline passengers. Apparently the ‘thrift shop’ is quite a shop! One can only imagine! It feels good to be half-way through the three years!
Have a happy New Year!